Friday, July 30, 2010

Fur / Pewter Cub - dual CD Release 8/13 - Small's - with Illy Mack

Pewter Cub and Fur are both offering albums on Friday the 13th.

The illustrious lo-fi indie-rock trio, Pewter Cub (pictured), offer The Door Was Open, You Got In -

Meanwhile our slightly more psyche-ish shoegaze leaning power-trio Fur offer their second EP, Devestate the Details (and what journo couldn't get behind a title like that?)

They're joined in celebration with the minimalist experimental folk of Illy Mack - 8/13 - at Small's. DJ Bart Bealmear (of CJAM renown) will spin between sets. No word, to this blog-as-of-yet, as to the future of Black Lodge -who were originally booked...



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Squared Circle Revue - 8/6 - 8/7 - Theatre Bizarre

The otherworldly amusement park transforms into an exploded and amusingly chaotic wrestling ring for one sweat and snark filled evening - Squared Circle Revue - with:
Scarboni The Great and Hayley Jane,
+ musical guests: Black Jake and the Carnies, The Amino Acids, Downtown Brown, Dixon's Violin, Bride Stripped Bare, The Casket Bastards and more!

Located at:
967 W. State Fair

More info here

Theatre Bizarre


Monday, July 26, 2010

Morning Benders - 8/14 - Fillmore

Newest gang of pale yet fresh faced indie-pop darlings, Morning Benders, have finished up a European tour for their latest album, aurally suggestive in title: Big Echo -which is serving to bridge a foggier bent-folk-ish pop style with a rhythm-focused chopped-acoustic sunshine rock. Presents: The Morning Benders "Stitches" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Check out these dates within the vicinity of the Great Lakes

August 3rd Kool Haus Toronto, ON#

August 4th Kool Haus Toronto, ON#

August 7th Lollapalooza Chicago, IL

August 7th The Metro Chicago, IL

August 8th Val Air Ballroom Des Moines, IA#

August 9th Anchor Inn Omaha, NE#

August 11th Iroquois Amphitheater Louisville, KY#

August 12th Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN#

August 13th The LC Amphitheater Columbus, OH#

August 14th The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI#

# with The Black Keys

More info

The Week(s) in Fliers

The Wednesday series at Club Bart (the most recent of which ended a bit dubiously for DC-fav Black Lodge) - this one will feature Black Lodge's drummer with members of his former/now-recently-revived project, The Nerve - Info


Then, the 3-r-D annual "Phonophest" party gets the 3-D treatment - paired with Motor City Special's vinyl-revival's stacked line up - 7/31 at the Crofoot. Info

Then, Bob Log III, the jumpsuited one-man slide-guitar rocker returns to Detroit to pair, once again, with his brother-in-one-man-outrageous-rockness, local robot-boy Carjack - 8 / 2 at the Majestic Cafe. Info

Then, the boys from the Audiomite Studio are gathering together locals from around the state, bands and performance artists, with some out-of-staters, to celebrate the 3rd annual Aestival Festival. 8/6 and 8/7 at 28 and Gratiot. Info


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fur's 'Here's to the Angels' EP - (follow up on the way - 8/13)

(Finally caught this local trio at the Lager House from the much-needed and commendable Echo Fest)

More info - Fur's site

If still just a trio, every instrument sounds huge. Fur leans toward the noise-experimentation/haunting beauty sides of psychedelic music. Most strikingly, from these 3 songs, is their ability to elucidate a bit of space between an otherwise flush sound of howling vocal-effects, strident soaring guitars, drum-fill heavy pummeling and an ever plodding bass.

While things can get so tight in the title track’s BRMC-ish classic-rock deconstructionist tear of torrential guitar slices, strangled hooking drums and winding bass, there’s palpable breathing room between the beats and rising surf-twanged guitars of distinguishing “Pretty Thoughts” – which, while it leans into familiar shoegaze territory, introduces a cherubic/banshee synth wave that brings in a slightly more dreamy, even warmer, quality, to save it from all those macabre clouds of metal-y, noise-rocky stuff.

You've Got The Job

In these still-yet-bleak economic times (at least the unemployment benefits bill finally passed), perhaps one of the few remaining therapies, tried-and-trued cathartic releases, would be to dance:

Charlie Slick - from the newly released Elron Hubbard

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phonotropic in 3D + Motor City Special - Crofoot - 7/31

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr.
Bars of Gold
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
The Victorious Secrets
Bear Lake

+ Artist Dan DeMaggio aims "to tell the story of how imagination becomes speech" through 3-D films (enhanced, of course, with 3-D glasses).

Meanwhile, in the Pike Room:
Pike Room
The Beggars
Black Lodge
Marco Polio and the New Vaccines
The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre

Performing bands will be recorded live for a Motor City Special limited edition vinyl release made at Archer Records in Detroit! (Admission to the Pike Room show gets you into the whole shebangin' BBQ)



Motor City Special

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill - 8/10 - 4AD

Nice, smooth, doowop-leaning, quaint outdoorsy folk-pop - distinctly UK-feeling - could be the torchbearers for Camera Obscura.

They're debut comes out on 4AD
More info here.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Year of the Ruggs - EP Release - 7/23 - Sparklewood


The Ruggs’ genesis lies between Bonnaroo, Guitar Center and a Shark Attack.

Guitarist Ivan and bassist Rob’s somewhat-parallel high school paths finally intertwined after graduation when the former spotted the latter in a Fugazi t-shirt at a party; their complimentary instruments made jamming a no-brainer and they’ve been friends ever since (2005). In 2006, Ivan, 22 met Johnny, 21, at mega-music-fest, Bonnaroo, (in Manchester, TN, having been introduced by Rob, 25) – the two (Rob/Johnny) “tripped out” together according to Ivan and “sparks flew,” Johnny assured. From that night on, “the chemistry was there,” Johnny said as they regrouped back up in Detroit. “Two years later, that notion was actualized.”

Only they weren’t called the Ruggs – they were Oatmeal. And, yes, that was partly inspired by Rob’s year-long informal breakfast regiment. Now, to paint you a picture, while the Ruggs aren’t inspired by rug burns, a similar coarse sensibility could apply, their sound, like a rug-burn, with it’s distinctive scorch from an otherwise soft skimmed surface feels all too suitable a metaphor – as theirs spans the arch from tumbled stomp and howl garage punk to head-swimming delicate tone precision psychedelia to humble-shufflin high flying jangle-pop.

But, as “what-would-become”-Oatmeal started in 08, with their friend John (of Ann Arbor), the rough and the psychedelic were already there, but, mostly, it seemed to have a more palpable funk lean to it. Johnny eventually comes in for John on drums and the band changed their name.
“We’re not really opposed to playing certain songs that sound a certain way,” Rob says, shrugging over influences, “We wouldn’t be like: We can’t play this because this doesn’t sound like the Ruggs, or isn’t Ruggy-enough.”

“During the name change,” Johnny said, “there was no conscious effort or desire to change the direction of the music towards a different avenue, although, in retrospect, the music has kind of come into its own, stylistically, and in a kind of organic way since.”

Consulted separately, Ivan and Johnny both admit being moved by Beach Boys, Doors, contemporary crunch n punch garage pop bawlers like King Khan and Black Lips and the sweet, dizzying orchestral psyche of Swedens’ Dungen. Ivan adds Gustave Klimt, Marc Bolan and Roberto Bolano while Johnny also nods to Charles Mingus, Bo Diddley and Deerhoof.

Or, one could say, for The Ruggs, as aptly put by Ivan, “…colorful surreal garage punk artwork with heavy psychedelic and funk influences.” “Basically,” Johnny adds, “I just tell people we’re a rock band.”

So then, 05-07, Ivan and Rob play together in various bands with rotating line ups, classic bander adventures, and then Ivan moves to L.A. to attend Los Angeles Recording School (where he eventually gains the knowledge needed to set up/run his own home studio when he returns to Michigan in mid-08).

Ivan and Rob’s initial jammings and later their fluctuating collaborators, came to an end with Johnny’s equation solving addition. “The three of us have so much in common,” Ivan remarked, “from the music we listen to, to our senses of humor to our political standings, to our interests in science and deep space.” And Dungen. And Breakfast.

The best delineation offered for that name change, by all three, is that it subconsciously marked a “coming into our own” moment – as Johnny notes the strengthening songs and Ivan declares the honing of his recording skills. “We will always just be Ivan, Rob and Johnny.”

Those improving recording skills and sonic confidence builds have led to them getting “knees-deep in our first full length album, which is due out this October,” said Ivan. “It’s going to be a surreal mess of lo-fi raw beauty and power.”

Their first EP (Everybody’s Surfin or The Ruggs Go On A Diet, available this summer—with artwork by Ivan) offers some recordings with Brandon Wiard from Pretty Suite Recordings in the country store at Wiards Orchards.

From here, they want to plant themselves in Ivan’s space – each singing the praises of comfort, control and practicality of home recording: “it’s happening all around us and producing gems of lo-fi masterpieces,” Ivan surmises, who notes Ariel Pink and Daniel Johnston as personal influences. (Note: the guitarist has a solo album, Grass Grass Grass coming out soon.)

“So,” Ivan says, “there’s gonna be a release this month, and October and then work on our sophomore album. Besides that, we’ll just try to play really loud and make friends and get messed up and jam and fuck around.”

Indeed. The word mellow and laid back comes up twice in conversation with Rob, when describing all three members. “We don’t necessarily have an ego,” he said, “We don’t try to have small egos, at least, when it comes to the band, with each other. We really have nothing but love for each other.”

With these releases and new recordings, “The year of the Rugg,” is uttered by Rob, and I can’t help but jump on it.

~ More info - Ruggs

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Of Montreal - Land of Nod - 7/25 - (Interview - False Priest coming this fall)

Remember when fans still got upset about selling out, or changing styles/sounds?

Athens-based disco-dashed-pop-nebuloids Of Montreal have accelerated, twirled, and contorted way beyond their first flirtations into beat-driven fuzz-frayed realms back in the early 00’s (Sunlandic Twins) and have since dived into dark, moody grooves (Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?) and catapulted into heady and ravenously libidinous, strutting, deconstructed soul (Skeletal Lamping).

Is it even anything, any real shock or drama, anymore, when the once “vaudevillian lo-fi psychedelic pop thing” heads into a lavishly equipped studio (Ocean Way) in Los Angeles with its prolific mastermind Kevin Barnes breaking his solo-home-production precedent and laying his songs upon the aural accentuating operating table of Grammy-nominated Kanye West co-producer Jon Brion, whilst also continuing to flourish his (Barnes’) public display of mutual admiration (via collaboration) with head-spinning space-pop soulstress Janelle Monáe and then invite a duet with R&B popstar (and famous little sibling) Solange (Knowles)?

Such is part of the forthcoming False Priest’s recipe. Remembering a dozen years prior to Barnes’ early penning of cutely-quirked pop, “I just happened to start doing that when I first started putting out records.” He had been writing songs since age 14. “It’s like there’s a division between those two worlds. But I don’t really think of myself as one or the other. I don’t think I’d be defying myself to make a folky record, I’m totally open to do whatever I feel like doing. If somebody got upset because I changed directions it wouldn’t really bother me, because it would be like: ‘Okay, well, then, don’t listen to it.’”

Fauna, though heavily electronic, triggered considerable acclaim, while Skeletal’s alter-ego nightmarish opera was cast as labyrinthine. Priest is a bit more immediate, still dazzled and wrung with spiny surfy guitar dressings and gracefully intertwining cerebral sci-fi conjuring lyrics, but it seems to slide, seems more palatable, more playful; dark and biting still, but no longer haunted. “All the stuff I do is complex, I rarely write a 3-chord song. So, Skeletal Lamping was maybe a bit more fragmented and schizophrenic; I would take fragments of songs and piece them together to create something new. With False Priest I guess arrangements are slightly more linear in a way but it’s not really straightforward dance-pop.”

Compositionally, Barnes said he was “influenced by the same certain things I’ve been influenced by in the last three to four years: soul music, 70’s funk and r&b, things like that and then trying to create something that is interesting on a musical level but also interesting on an intellectual level, for the lyrics. It also is fun and immediate; it’s kind of the thing I always try to do – something that has immediacy but also has layers so it’s not just a one dimensional experience.”

It’s mid July and Barnes has just returned from putting the last touches on Priest in L.A., back to his family’s ethereal home planet, “Sunlandia” before heading our way for Jackson’s Land of Nod Experiment. The band (Bryan Poole, Dottie Alexander, Davey Pierce, Clayton Rychlik) have been holding creative meetings with Barnes and his brother David regarding the ambitious, reality-melting new incarnation of their live show.

“We’ve done a lot of theatrical things the last couple tours,” Barnes said, “and the Skeletal Lamping tour was by far the biggest production we’d ever attempted. But it got kind of exhausting towards the end; it became a bit mundane because it was like the same thing every single night. We want to keep a level of spontaneity so the theatrical aspect of the tour can evolve as well. We’re gonna do a thing where they’ll be two or three layers to the performance and the band is gonna be bathed in this mysterious light; we’re gonna figure out a way where the musicians are sort of involved as part of the stage and the stage is a living organism, the performers are sort of living inside of that world. Everything is live too, which is another thing that was sort of detrimental on the Skeletal Lamping tour, we had a lot of backing tracks that dictated the tempo and the length and everybody was following that. If you follow a computer it’s always going to be the same. We’re trying to give the musicians a lot of freedom; I’m actually not going to be playing guitar very much at all.”

“The idea would be this invisible wall between us and the audience, almost like we sort of existed in this parallel universe and we have a sense of them and they’re with us, watching us and listening too, but it wouldn’t necessarily be us interfacing with the audience in that traditional sense. It would be more like we exist in this dream world – like the relationship you have with your dreams; you’re sort of experiencing on all these levels but you can’t change it, you are at the mercy of the fate of the dream.”

The band won’t be able to pull off the dream vision for the Land of Nod (the outdoors is just not conducive to the stage lightning) but will feature new band members: Phayer on piano and synth and Nicholas (of Sugar and Gold) on synth and bass. Of Montreal will align with Janelle Monae in the fall for a duel-tour that will incorporate the “dream wall” and have the two bands meld into each other’s performances, breaking down any set changing pauses.

Monáe and her crew of contributing artists/musicians, the Wondaland Arts Society, have served as Barnes greatest inspiration over the last year, spurring him to new inspiration and “wanting to create something interesting. I always had, with David (Barnes, brother) and Nina (Barnes, wife) but it’s always great to branch out and bring more people into the family. Hanging out with them, sending them songs, getting their feedback and collaborating with them was such an exceptional thing for me. I started listening to Janelle’s record (ArchAndroid) and knowing all the time, the energy and heart and sweat that they put into that and seeing how much they love it and seeing how much they care about it is really inspiring. (ArchAndroid) meant so much to them, they invested so much—emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, into that record and so to see people who care that much about their art, or anything that they do, is always extremely inspiring.”

photo: Patrick Heagney


False Priest Out this Fall on Polyvinyl.

more info here and here - pre order here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dark Night of the Soul what I'm currently listening to...

and enjoying every nook and cranny so far...and maybe being nicely creeped out a bit.

The ingredients: Sparklehorse (the late Mark Linkous) + Danger Mouse + David Lynch - each spearheading a dark dreamy minimalist pop album that culls indie aristocracy such as Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, The Pixies' Frank Black, Super Furry Animal's Gruff Rhys, Neutral Milk Hotel's/Gerbil's David Spillane, the Flaming Lips and many more...

While some moments definitely feel lost in "the red room" creepiness, as sung/narrated (via heavy reverb) by Lynch himself, the entries offered by Lytle and Rhys are mesmerizing.

Read Jonathan Berz's review in Real Detroit and click to NPR right now to see if you can still listen to it.

info at dnots

Friday, July 16, 2010

Concert of Colors

Likely you've already heard, be it from the Free Press or Detroit News or wherever else - so any superfluous blogging would probably sound like a "...don't forget!!" kind of a sing/songey adnauseum reminder.

But - still - check it out!

Because, A.) Don Was always puts together a good show - bringing together Detroit greats via veterans and younger contemporaries with the All-Star Revue.

Alberta Adams / Dennis Coffey / Marshall Crenshaw Doop & The Inside Outlaws / Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment / Ingray / Motor City Horns / Mayaeni / Andre Williams / Outrageous Cherry / The Satin Peaches / SRC Gary Quackenbush / Jere Stormer / Sun Messengers (30th anniversary this year!) / Kim Weston
House Band
Don Was, bass / Luis Resto, keyboard / Terry” Thunder” Hughley, drums / Brian “Roscoe” White, guitar / Shantelle Hawkins, back up vocals / Margaret King Ahmed, back up vocals / Consuela Lopez, back up vocals

B.) We have Mavis Staple headlining the main stage (at the Max M. Fischer) on Sunday night.

C.) The comparable Odu Afrobeat Orchestra are appearing just before supper time on the Comerica Diversity Stage, Sunday.
D.) Start your weekend, Friday, at the Detroit Institute of Arts - with a screening of the 1931 Spanish production of Dracula (using shots with the same sets from the Bela Lugosi. version).

E.) A Food Drive for Gleaners Community Food Bank, Saturday at the Fischer.

Outdoor local music.... You know...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Internet Music Store - Desktop / Light in August / Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

With a name like Desktop...

A handful of Detroit bands have new music made attainable via your computers (or your smart phones or whatever new glowing comm-implants or gadgety inter-phone toys).

Desktop, an aptly named collaborative duo made up of Electric Six/Johnny Headband's Keith Thompson and Pop Project/Suburban Sprawl's Zach Curd, has completed it's second proper 3-song EP. Desktop 2 follows last year's Euro-Disco glitzed serving of cardio cuts heavy on sequenced beats and synthesized bass. While following the same formula (the two human halves each did their own distinctive song tweaking in separate rooms and emailed developments back and forth), 2 is more of an experimental rock tilt - guitars, bass, heavy reverb. The conditions are still right for danceability - but the milieu is one less digitized, maybe a bit more space-rock-ish but still tempered with lots of hooks and steady bass boomed underpinning.

Look/Listen here.

Meanwhile - the perennially fluctuating electro-project Deastro (helmed always by songwriter Randolph Chabot) has released the darker, atmospheric-pop leaning Mind Altar EP, online, via Ghostly International - originally popping up as an 8-song cassette release via Deastro's blog. The sound is more worldweary, deeply wrapped in ethereal aural curtains of reverb and is a considerable swerve from 09's full-band affair Moondagger. Find the EP here.

And - masters of the poignant pop -> Josh Epstein (of Silent Years) and Daniel Zott (of The Great Fiction) have released the debut EP for their collaboration, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr. The playfully absurdist live shows where they don sponsor-strewn jumpsuits matches the forceful, roaring suggestiveness of a title like "Horse Power" for a batch of pretty little electro ditties that feel more attuned to the fuzzy goosebump feeling of grass-splayed summer night star gazing or lovey-dove slow dances in the living room when the party lights start to dim. Find their stuff online here and see how the sports world reacts, via Yahoo!-- here. Find MP3's here.

Finally, Ann Arbor-based folk-dashed, orchestral-swept indie-pop quartet Light In August are working on the follow up to their debut Places. The eclectic, summery pop rockers are engaging in the practical Kickstarter route to help fans get in on their forthcoming album, Sweater Weather by donating towards part of the production costs. For more info - click here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saturday - Cass Cafe - (Opening Reception)


Info: Cass Cafe
Jason Clark
Gwen Joy
Aaron Zorn
Karpov The Wrecked Train

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Interview: Liars - 7/17 - Magic Stick

Interview -

Angus Andrew tells me how quickly one becomes acclimated to a jail cell. He and his band, Liars, revered by art rock lovers of any nuance, be it for their shock-n-dread dynamics, their torrential rhythm assemblages or their haunted-head-harmonies, spent a day in late May performing live songs in a penitentiary, each of them, guitars, amps, drums or microphone, behind bars in their own box. (view it here via Pitchfork TV)

“You do immediately get a shot of some sort of visceral kind of impulse from your surroundings,” the tall lanky Australian admits, as can be viewed online in full wall-bouncing explosiveness. “And, yeah, I felt very connected to that space. The idea of being kind of locked up, especially in that kind of prison is a really interesting kind of physical embodiment of some of the ideas that I think we play with, with the music that we make.”

The latest batch of music made by Liars is this spring’s Sisterworld, an almost-concept album inspired by some dark elements of society particularly on display in Angus’ neighborhood in Los Angeles – blunt and bellicosely tongue-in-cheek haranguing of ugly displays, some of them intrinsic to L.A., others perhaps indicative of many streets throughout any metropolis. The trio (with Aaron Hemphill, Julian Gross) met at art school in that city, formed soon after at the millennium but soon transported to New York where they fell into the brief media craze of the early decades’ spate of no-wave inspired dance-punk revivalism. They survived, evolved and elevated to noise-rock aristocracy, endeared to many by their austere and beautiful compositions of fright and freak framed rock storms balancing falsetto whisper howls with phlegm fired battle screams.

They resettled around L.A. after 07’s guitar-fuzz dominant self-titled album and would wind up recording this latest album in about a dozen different locations around the world. It’s songs are not all L.A. murk and melodrama; less an indictment and more a lifting of rose-colored lenses. L.A., after all, has always felt like a home for the band.

“There’s a lot of things that are good about L.A. that are also not that well understood,” Andrew said. “That’s part of the allure for me, for L.A., is this idea that it’s not very well understood and that there are things about it that you can still discover that are surprising. One thing is the notion that L.A. is about having a car and driving a lot and dealing with the freeways and stuff. I enjoy this sort of enclave that you can find here where you don’t really need to live or drive across the whole city.”

For now, Andrew said, L.A. fits.

“Personally, I think I go in and out of phases of being interested and then disgusted by American culture. Sometimes I’d feel like I really want to engage with it and then sometimes I feel like I need to get on the other side of the world from it.” As he did, in fact, spending the mid-to-late 00’s in Berlin. “At the moment, I’m into it.”

The perennial descriptor stuck upon Liars is their propensity for swerving off into different styles from album to album, throwing off any attempt to label them as dance-punk, no-wave, rhythm-heavy drone, shoegaze, noise-rock, whatever it may be, it never sticks for long, through their 5 major albums. But sensory words like dread, anxious, or spooky (they did have a Witch-themed album) always come up.

“Over time,” Andrew said, “it’s become maybe clearer to people that even though stylistically some of our records have been quite different, that, actually there is this vein that runs through everything and I think particularly when you see us play live, nowadays, where we’re able to play songs from each of the records, it feels like that there isn’t actually that drastic of a change between records.”

Why the spook, why the dread, why the alarm. “Why they’re there, I don’t know,” Andrew said. “I think that’s something that we tried to tackle with Sisterworld; this idea of being displaced or in some sense out of touch with the middle-you or whatever. A sense of detachment and sort of fear or paranoia that comes with that and how do people deal with that? I think that’s sort of stuff that was being written about but maybe in Sisterworld we tried to explore some sort of answer to…”

Whether any sort of comfort can be found in a jail cell, Andrew admits that the band are more than comfortable, particularly lulled a bit into a state of confidence to experiment, in the sometimes fantastically perceived world of Los Angeles. It is the point of their genesis and now, ten years later, returned to and somewhat documented on their latest album.

“It really felt like, in a lot of ways, even though it’s not my home, it was in a sense a coming-home record,” Andrew admitted. “And, in a way something that we felt like we kind of earned after having been traveling a lot over the last few years and trying out a lot of different things and places to live. It was a chance for us to really regroup and for the first time take the amount of time we wanted to on making it, which was completely new because we were always in a rush on all the records that we made. Finally we’d earned the right to take advantage, maybe, of what we’ve achieved and utilize it in order to make the record we wanted to make.”

More Info

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tuesday - Thursday

Build your endurance. Up your intake of vitamins and minerals - and echinacea tea... (and, maaaybe not Kombucha)... But - if one plans on surviving the whirl of late-ish bar nights with loud music blaring and the cruel enticement of the waiting bar and it's varied sordid spirits combined with your early morning clock-ins to the assorted day-jobs - then you're going to need a plan.

Naps in the break room? Or balance that delusion of "functioning alcoholic" during the night hours with "functioning zombie" during the preceding day hours.

Tuesday Night - Richie and Carrie realign to host "Tuesdays In The Forest" at the Loving Touch pool hall in Ferndale. Show up at ten - for drink specials - a DJ (with Ritchie) spinning all night - and a performance from Josh Epstein of the Silent Years and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr...(the latter of said-two projects has an EP on the horizon, open up your ears).

Thursday Night - Ferndale, now back at the Loving Touch - anthemic bash balladeers The Beggars are joining with the kaleidoscope-space-pop collective Macrame Tiger (filmed above during one of the inaugeral New Center Park parties) and welcoming NC-based metal band Colossus.

If that's not enough - Jon Spencer fucking Blues Explosion is coming to town (er, Pontiac) on Friday night - with Duende.
And then...

next Wednesday Night - 7/21 - still in Ferndale - over at Club Bart - the Loco Gnosis Presents series brings Pink Lightning and Black Lodge up to the very cozy, triangular, over-the-bar stage. The latter of said-two bands is welcoming Eric Dilworth (of Isles of E.S.P.) on guitar.
Oh, and there's things Saturday - more on that soon...
I'm going to bed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Echo Fest - 7/17 - Lager House

Echo Fest "will showcase what we believe to be five of the best echo-, delay-, and psych- bands Detroit has to offer, with mind-bending visuals all night and sweet psych music between sets."


From the first interview I ever 'conducted' with psych-power-trio known as Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor (back to the days of Sik-Sik Nation), they already had started musing on the potential, and the begrudged under-the-radar restriction to the activities, accomplishments, and camaraderie of the SE-Michigan-area's Psychedelic Scene.

We've had our garage thing. We had our space pop thing. Even our electro-dance thing. Now, they've put together something to comemorate the psyche-thing with a handful of bands from the area: Fur., Electric Lions, Solar Temple Cult (formerly Friends of Dennis Wilson), and 800-Beloved, join the Sisters on July 17 at the Lager House.


"We named it Echo Fest to celebrate all the bands in Detroit that use heavy reverb and delay in their songwriting," Sisters bassist Eric Oppitz said. "There were a few more bands that we would have loved to include, but the sheer logistics would have made it impossible to book everyone on the same date."

It works out though, Oppitz said, because each band can get a full set, plus, they can always "hold the event again next year with a totally fresh line up."

Electric Lions singer/guitarist Rabeah Ltief (who also recently joined Solar Temple Cult) has shared a few philosophical conversations with Oblisk singer/guitarist Asim Akhtar, regarding psychedelic as a "genre" or "classification." He stressed that it is based in pure feeling - anything providing a quasi-natural "high" from an aural effect, be it echo, reverb or distortion, has the spirit of psychedelic music.

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor have their albums up for free download at their site.

800-Beloved's "Go" from 2008's Bouquet

Go (Widescreen) from 800beloved on Vimeo.

Fur. - "Pretty Thoughts"

Sisters' "Slow Suicide"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Live Local Music at the Ferndale Public Library - July 10

The Ferndale Public Library is (eventually) re-opening at it's original location, (likely in the mid-to-late summer). Having recently been souped up with impressive (and some much needed) renovations (thanks to a 1-mil tax hike graciously supported by voters back in 2007) the staff, teamed with the Friends of the Ferndale Library have organized an open house-esque celebration for the community to come see the stunning transformation.

Construction workers have torn down walls, raised roofs, planted soil on roofs, expanded to property a few thousand sq feet outwards in all directions and added a green-friendly irrigation system and geothermal heating and cooling system.

Plus, all the books, movies, newspapers, dvds, cds, audiobooks, magazines, encyclopedias you've come to expect from the classic romanticized library of old, in all it's Dickens and Fitzgeraldian musty glory - but bolstered now by new study rooms, a teen reading area, a new children's reading area and a new computer lab (which, goes without saying: new computers, too!)

The open house celebration is July 10 - from 12noon - 8pm at 222 East Nine Mile. Come. Revel. And enjoy. Enjoy the sights. Enjoy the staff (full disclosure, that includes me) and enjoy the music.

Repeat: Enjoy the music.

Live performances from local heroes:
The High Strung / The Pop Project / School of Rock / The Mydols / Pete Pelter & Paul Gaughan
+ Food and Children's Activities - and more.

Thank you for all your support and stay tuned - the library will be opening for regular service as soon as possible.
More info from:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - 7/16 - Crofoot

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - punk, rockabilly, Delta, New York, funk, soul, garage, detonated disco and disembowled grunge - spiny to the touch and spicy to the taste - after their two decades-long jarring journey, it goes without saying that all these sensiblities were piflered and stirred together by these refined, disaffected, left-field flying musical mutants into a new, devestatingly iconoclastic blend of the blues.

When no one could hang any fitting classification of all the moods and movements rattled above, Spencer himself spewed in his bendy twanging rustbelt croon that, in fact, "The Blues is # 1" - clarifying, "I don't play no blues - I play rock n roll." Gotta be careful with these things. Because the bottom line remains, that, still, "the blues is number one..."

And - starting in early 2010 - Spencer, with his longtime mates Judah Bauer and Russell Simins, linked up with Majordomo (part of Shout Factory) to start a reissue campaign of digitally mastered material spanning their career's worth of albums and adding in a bevy of b-sides, rarities and live recordings.
After early spring's debut of Dirty Shirt Rock n Roll: The First Ten Years - they've moved onto their post-Orange material by re-unveiling 1996's Now I Got Worry--recorded between down in the heart of the Delta with blues aristocrat R.L. Burnside, funk/soul aristocrat Rufus Thomas and electro/hip-hop aristocrat Money Mark. You get 12 bonus b-sides on this one... (info)

This year, they followed that with the 1997 rare live album Controversial Negro - originally just a promo here in the states that quickly went out of print, this is a 1996 show from Tuscon AZ that offers four previously unreleased live songs. (Also featuring 12 more live songs from a 1994 show at the same Tuscon venue... -info-
But the latest of the latest Jon Spencer news (besides their July 16 Crofoot show with Duende, in Pontiac MI), involves a new recording project where he and his wife, Cristina Martinez (who, with Spencer, helmed the shambled frightful blues punk of Pussy Galore) are gracefully stomping and grinding their heels, howls and spilt-out strum storms over the eclectic musical visions of celebrated Netherlands' singer/songcrafter Solex (Elisabeth Esselink).

Amsterdam Throwdown - Kingstreet Showdown

Hip/hop in its driving beat, sample-heavy nature, but ranging from dirty garage, to groove-heavy soul, to rattled krautrock, to brass-blown, string sawed bridges between funk grandeur and classic pop melody musing. The experimental Solex, known for her wide range of taste and quirky, electronica-leaning pop's strut, lays many a strange drum-n-bass dominant platter for Spencer and Martinez to mold and explode together - the results of which being a very freeform, here-n-there head spinner of a spaced out funk odyssey, often too intriguing or perhaps suspensful (in its: what instrument will they bring in next and what meandering riff will they spread with it) to necessarily set a straight dancey, or head-bobbing vibe between soul or hip/hop, but still highly rewarding in that it'll likely be one of the more unique albums (or, musical conversations) released this year.
More info from Bronze Rat
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